Spokesperson for éirígí Tir Chonaill, Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has called on everyone to use International Women's Day (todayMarch 8th) as a time to focus on the achievements of women in Ireland. His comments were made at the socialist republican political party éirígí's event in Belfast on Saturday (March 5th), which was held to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.
The event, held in the West of the city, remembered revolutionary women and included readings from inspirational women. Guest speaker at the event was éirígí's Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan who made national news following a protest she made against then Minister for Health Mary Harney and her departments cuts in the health service.
Commenting that we needed more women involved in activism for change in Ireland, Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig said “This is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. The best thing people can do to commemorate this is to remember the contribution women have made in Ireland over the years. International Women's Day has its roots in the socialist movement and was established in a time of great social and political change. With the mobilisation of women around the world at the time, many ignored issues were brought into focus such as the lack of women's rights including the right to work, the right to vote or hold office and general discrimination."
“Through the first half of the 20th Century in Ireland many women brought huge change to the country during the time of the Easter Rising, the Tan war and beyond, including Constance Markiewicz, Sighle Humphreys and Donegal's Eithne O'Donnell who founded the first Cumann na mBan unit in West Donegal in 1918. It was a time of massive change and the women's involvement at that time was crucial” said Mac Giolla Easbuig.
“Today, 100 years on, we again find ourselves in the midst of crisis and in need of huge social change. It is vital that women once again involve themselves in activism to create that change and bring more equality into society, not just here in Donegal but around the globe. In the recent general election only 15% of candidates who stood for election were women, a figure mirrored here in County Donegal. This is something we must change. If women feel they have something to offer society and wish to get involved in activism in their communities then they should do just that and not let the status quo and society's old ideals hold them back. There is still much inequality against women around the world and indeed here in Ireland and it is time we all took responsibility to change that.” Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig finished by saying, “To quote the International Women's Day website “Think globally and act locally!! Make everyday International Womens Day.””